UPDATED 09:00 EDT / AUGUST 10 2022

AI

Signal AI buys corporate reputation startup Kelp to boost external intelligence platform

The self-styled “external intelligence” company Signal Media Ltd., better known as Signal AI, said today it has acquired Kelp Inc., a provider of corporate reputation insights.

Signal AI said the acquisition builds on the deep synergies between the two firms and their shared vision to help organizations understand external events that impact on their success.

The company sells an artificial intelligence-powered External Intelligence Graph that provides a comprehensive view of the external world surrounding companies. It’s informed by about 5 million news articles, regulatory filings and other documents posted on the internet each day. It uses machine learning to analyze this content and find useful patterns before making that information available to its clients, who can then run natural language queries to find items of interest.

It caters to various use cases. One example is customer sentiment tracking. The platform can gather up signals of customer sentiment and transform them into a dashboard that allows a company to track how the perception of its brand changes over time. Signal AI’s tools can also be used in supply chain risk management. Its ability to aggregate large volumes of data from news articles and other sources helps it to identify any potential issues that might affect customer’s outside suppliers.

Constellation Research Inc. Vice President and Principal Analyst Andy Thurai told SiliconANGLE that Signal AI’s biggest advantage over similar platforms is its unique ability to scan video and audio files for potentially negative sentiments. He pointed out that the company claims to access more than 20,000 podcasts on a regular basis, in addition to broadcasts from local and national TV and radio. Because of this, he said, Signal AI’s customers can be much more proactive in dealing with any negative sentiments that might arise.

“It helps them to analyze the news, identify the sentiment of that news and any potentially harmful information ahead of time, so they can start with mitigation as soon as the information is found,” Thurai said. “This is slightly different from most other offerings, which aim at crisis management rather than prevention.”

Thurai said another benefit of Signal AI’s platform is its ability to keep track of regulatory and compliance updates from almost 1,700 governmental, regulatory and judicial institutions across the world. “It has technology that can scan all published text and provide an indication of areas that might affect enterprises, especially in fast-changing areas such as ESG and CSR,” Thurai added. “This can be very helpful if it’s going to affect revenue or production at a company.”

Kelp, which describes itself as an actionable platform for corporate reputation management, provides industry-specific insights and uses these to benchmark thousands of companies. Those insights can aid executives as they shift their business strategies, capitalize on new opportunities or mitigate potential risks.

“Kelp is known for providing corporate reputation insights in industries such as big tech, CPG, Pharma and so on,” Thurai explained. “This is very helpful in strategy shift, new opportunities exploration and  mitigating risks.”

Signal AI said the addition of Kelp’s capabilities will create a far more comprehensive platform that will enable companies to quantify the aggregate impact of their actions and strengthen their corporate reputations. In particular, Kelp will be able to enrich the corporate intelligence insights with data from Signal AI’s External Intelligence Graph, enabling customers to understand what drives positive reputation within industries ranging from healthcare to life sciences to defense manufacturing. Executives will be able to use these insights to target the most influential audiences to ensure their brand gets its message across.

“The addition of Kelp will provide a corporate customer base that Signal AI never had access to before,” Thurai explained. “It will be able to provide unique corporate insights in near real-time, which Kelp couldn’t do before. It’s a good merger from my point of view.”

Signal AI Chief Executive David Benigson said he was excited to join forces with Kelp, because 85% of business leaders believe reputation is a higher priority than margin when it comes to decision-making. “At Signal AI, we’re already providing executives with external intelligence to help them cut through the noise and understand which topics and events are impacting their reputation,” Benigson said. “Together with Kelp, we’ll turn this data into truly actionable insight for our customers.”

Signal AI said Kelp’s entire staff will join the company as full-time employees, including its co-founders Dan Gaynor and Shann Biglione.

Image: Signal AI

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